View Full Version : My COI Anaheim Report (and you thought Vocalise's was long!)

June 6th, 2003, 01:04 PM
Michellesmom’s COI Anaheim 2003 Report

Here it is, finally!

A little Preface: Before the MKF luncheon, my daughter played her cello with the orchestra of her high school musical at an awards ceremony. Apparently there is a group that attends all of the high school plays in the county and gives awards out at the end of the year. I got lost, the ceremony started late and ran even later, but I finally got there just in time to see her orchestra and the cast of her spring musical perform their two numbers. We found out the next day that they won several awards, including Show Stopper of the Year and Best Orchestra, which made being late to the luncheon almost worth it!

So we finally got to the restaurant about 2:15. Minor irritant: the restaurant didn’t have their usual valet parking that day, and they were charging $10, same price as The Pond parking lot. We ended up having to park way in the back because that was the only place there was shade and my daughter’s cello was still in the back of my car. Grrr.

Oh, and I also need to give a little background. My MIL was supposed to drive down from Torrance on Saturday, spend the night, and then we were going to all go to the lunch together. Well, she hurt her shoulder Saturday morning and couldn’t drive down that day, so she was going to come early Sunday. Well, she didn’t get there until 2:30 so the three of them missed the lunch. As it turned out, this was OK, because it meant my daughter and I drove separately so we could stay afterwards to try to meet the skaters without having to worry about the other three getting impatient, lol.

Anyway, my daughther and I got to the lunch just as everyone was pretty much finishing up, but I did see a bunch of “the usual suspects” right away—Corbon, davesato, kjesse, and others too numerous to mention. I saw that Kate had some MKF ribbons and asked her if they were extras, and she gave me one and I put it on. Then someone pointed out where Francis (USMCfjm) was sitting, and of course I had to go see him and give him a big “welcome back” hug. We chatted a bit and then I had to go order. I chatted with Chance (to whom I apologize again for not recognizing. I’m so bad matching names and faces. More on that later.) and the possible future Mr. Chance. <img border=0 src="http://www.ezboard.com/intl/aenglish/images/emoticons/laugh.gif" /> Then we took some group pictures. (I should get mine back today.)

Then everyone else left to go across the street to the Pond, but davesato was nice enough to stay and keep us company while we ate, even though he still had to go pick up his ticket at Will Call. As he and others pointed out, COI never starts on time so we weren’t too worried about it. We chatted about skaters and Seventh Heaven and I forget what all else, finished eating, went to the little girls’ and little boys’ rooms, respectively, and started walking over, and we finally had our first bit of good luck of the day. As we were standing on the corner, we saw Mr. mm’s car round the corner, so we knew the others had made it on time. I called Mr. mm (thank goodness for cell phones!) to let him know we saw him and that we’d wait for him by the statue of Wild Wing (the Ducks’ mascot) which was just outside the security checkpoint while dave went off to Will Call.

When we got in, we saw dave again and a couple of other people. My son thought it was cool that they left the hockey markings under the ice. There were a bunch of Stanley Cup Finals banners hanging, too. The show finally started around 3:30 (it was supposed to start at 3).

My actual show review:

Note: This was the last performance of the Spring tour for this year, so I think all the skaters, although tired, were really trying to go out on a high note, and they did.

Intro: It started out with a voiceover by Uncle Dick and was a salute to the 25th year of COI. I hadn’t realized that COI started out touring every four years, then every other year, then every year, then they skipped a year in there. So it actually started out a lot longer ago than 25 years, but this was their 25th actual tour. All the skaters looked really good, but my favorite part was Michelle coming out in the Ducks’ jersey. It was especially cute because it was way too big for her and she had to tie it at the waist. It had her name and 03 (I’m guessing to represent the year) on the back.

Nicole: Nicole did her Abba number, very energetically. She did great on her first jump but IIRC, she doubled and popped a couple more. Mr. mm was quite impressed by her “transformation”. He said he’d remembered her with kind-of a little-girl face but she looked really grown up now. I think what he was trying to say politely was that she’s turned into a “babe”, as my son would say.

Punsalan & Swallow: They did a slow, bluesey number. The title/words were, “Here we go again”. It sounded like Ray Charles? They were wearing these really sexy suede costumes.

Bebe: It was a really nice surprise to see her skate. She looked lovely in lavender and skated beautifully to the love song, “Until the end of time” from Moulin Rouge sung by Ewan MacGregor and Nicole Kidman. I can’t wait to see her compete next year.

Rudy: Did his Prince thing in purple velvet and a cape with sequins. Believe it or not this performance was my MIL’s favorite of the day! He did have one bad fall, but other than that he did great.

At some point right about here, I felt a tap on my shoulder and someone said, “Put down that pencil and enjoy the show,” and I looked up and it was Anna (Bananak) sitting right behind me. I told her that I had to take notes because I wanted to write a review and I had a memory like a sieve these days, lol.

Peter T: I think there might’ve been someone else on the ice with him. J/K! Naomi was beautiful and tall and and young and I am soooooo jealous of her! Anyway, he had on a white shirt and black pants with pleather patches and she wore a beautiful white dress with sparkles. I was so mesmerized that I forgot to write down the name of the music, lol.

Dan Hollander: He skated to Louis Armstrong dressed as a little old man and was hilarious. He’s always been one of my favorites, and he’s really found his forte as a comedian.

T&M: Skated to Elton John’s “Your Song”. What I know about ice dancing could fit on the head of a pin, but I thought they were great.

Elena Sokolova: Cupcake wore a beautiful blue and white dress and skated to a classical violin piece. Very lovely.

Viktor Petrenko: Viktor skated a serious piece this time, which was a departure from the comedy routines he’d done the past couple of years. I like the comedy routines, but this piece to “Fly Away” really reminded me of why he got his well-deserved Oly gold. His technique is just “first rate”, as Uncle Dick would say. He even got a partial standing O.

Philippe: Philippe skated to “God Bless the USA”. It started out with a voiceover as if he were going through immigration on Ellis Island and was quite moving. I know a lot of reviewers have said it was cheesy or that he only did it to get the crowd on his side, but I think it was sincere and heartfelt, especially after what he said by the busses (more on that later). He got a well-deserved standing O.

Intermission: Michelle and Mike Weiss came out in a Chevy and threw T-shirts up to the crowd. I didn’t get one, naturally. As Michelle came around to my section, someone next to me took a picture, and I suddenly remembered (duh!) that I had one of those disposable cameras in my purse so I got it out. By that time, of course, Michelle and Mike were already facing away from me but I took the picture anyway. But I did keep the camera out for the second half and got some pictures of some of the skaters when they got close to me but weren’t jumping. I don’t know if any of them will turn out. I should get them back later today.

Irina Grigorian (The Hula Hoop lady): Shmaltzy or not, this routine still amazes me. There was a shocker this time, though--she actually dropped a hoop! She went right back at the next transition and picked it very smoothly, so it was barely noticeable. She’s so tall and beautiful. My just-turned-teenager son didn’t remember who she was when I asked him at the beginning of the show. I’ll bet he remembers her now, lol!

Here I have in my notes “Brick House – Ducks’ Jersey” I have no idea what that means, but I think it has something to do with Irina.

Mike Weiss: Mike’s music was “Angel in the Centerfold”. It was very energetic and the music suited him well. My kids liked this routine.

B&K: This was the routine where she wears the black dress with the big red heart. This was Mr. mm’s favorite routine. They were very slinky and sexy.

Irina Slutskaya: She skated to Russian folk music. She was very cute and peppy. I think this routine really suited her. She looked like she was having a lot of fun.

Kaz & Dim: They skated to one of my all-time favorite songs, “Unforgettable” by Nat and Natalie Cole. I loved this routine!

The Acrobats: They did a cute opening where they came out dressed in their too-small suits, but this time there were three other guys behind them also dressed in too-small suits who whispered like they were trying to get in on the act, but the acrobats refused and the three skated slowly away, hanging their heads. Upon closer inspection, the three were Plushy, Mike Weiss, and Peter T. My family really enjoys the acrobats, and I do, too. They manage to be both amazing and funny at the same time.

Timmy: My teenage daughter’s favorite. As he was taking the ice, she yelled, “Timmy’s hot!” and something else that must have been very embarrassing to me because I’ve blocked it out. Anyway, he skated to “Arms Wide Open” in a black pleather outfit with a big gold cross on the back of the vest, which certainly did nothing to alter my daughter’s opinion of his hotness. His spins and jumps are so fast!.

Sasha: Got a nice ovation from her hometown crowd. My MIL said she liked Sasha’s dress (it was the brown peacock/leopard one) and was impressed when I told her that Sasha designs a lot of her own outfits. She skated her Romeo and Juliet number and did an excellent job. This was Mr. mm’s favorite performance of the night.

Elvis: Elvis skated to “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World. This was a good song choice for him. He is still very powerful. I’m really glad he’s decided to keep competing.

Plushy: Plushy performed his 2003 competitive LP, St. Petersburg 300, which honors the 300th anniversary of the founding of his hometown. TV does not do this number justice. It was soooo much more impressive in person. And that was with him doing his 3-jump combo in the opposite corner from where I was sitting.

Michelle!!!!!: As usual, she got the loudest cheers when she was introduced. My daughter was once again yelling, but this time I was yelling with her. As I’m sure you know by now, Michelle performed her routine to Alicia Keys’ “Fallin’”. This is a very sexy, bluesy number, and Michelle performed it great. She was so fluid, and her movements are so effortless it’s just breathtaking. She hit all her jumps, and everyone applauded in all the right places, especially for her beautiful spiral and headless scratchspin.

The Finale: I loved this finale! It was a Mardi Gras theme. My MIL and I wondered where Surya was (I later found out she wasn’t there because she has an injured foot) because she would’ve looked great in these costumes; they were just her style, so bright and colorful. They took turns going to different parts of the ice and getting applause from different parts of the audience. At one point the tall acrobat guy was in front of us shirtless, posing like a muscle man. Man, is that guy muscular! Of course, he’d have to be to lift another guy the way he does. I’ll bet he pumps a lot of iron! At the very end, Michelle fell on a jump right in front of our section. She got up laughing and she went and high-fived Tim and Mike and they were all just laughing. It was like they were saying, “The very last jump of the very last show and you just had to fall.” They didn’t all skate around and high-five the audience like they usually do, which was a little disappointing, but they had a bunch of streamers fall, and Mr. mm managed to get one.

After the show:

Mr. mm and his mom and my son went home while my daughter and I decided to go “skater hunting”, lol. We saw Anna in the lobby and I knew she knew how to get backstage, so I decided to hang with her. She was waiting for Kate (kjesse) because Anna had a backstage pass for her, but we never did meet up with her. Shep had told her that he would have backstage passes for her at Will Call, but the girl there said she’d given out all the passes (which wasn’t true, as it turned out). Fortunately, a very nice lady had passes that she was giving away and said she would only give them to someone who were big skating fans, and the lady asked Anna if my daughter and I were big fans. We assured her that we were huge fans and I even pointed to my MKF ribbon, so she gave us the passes. So if you’re reading this, thank you, whoever you were!

While we were waiting in the lobby, I asked Anna, “Who is that guy; he looks so familiar?” and she said it was Scott Williams. Duh. And she also pointed out Karen Kwan and Peter O. Hey, I said I was bad matching names and faces, didn’t I? Thank goodness I had people with me who could identify everyone for me, lol! Anyway, we couldn’t wait for Kate any longer, so we went and walked around where the ushers directed us, all the way around to the loading dock. The bus was already there, and there must’ve been a couple hundred people there. I felt kind-of bad, because here these poor people probably just wanted to get home and here were all these people wanting autographs and pictures, but, as Anna pointed out, if there were no fans, there wouldn’t be any skaters there. Then suddenly I realized I didn’t have my Sharpie, so Anna lent me one of hers (which I still have. Sorry, Anna—it’s in my purse. You’ll get it back at the next MKF get-together!) Anyway, apparently a few of the skaters had already signed autographs before we got there and some of them had limos waiting and planes to catch so I didn’t their autographs, and some of them I didn’t get because I was too shy at the beginning, but we ended up getting quite a few autographs and pictures. (After the bus left, I realized I’d gotten a bunch of pictures of my daughter with skaters, but none of myself, lol!) I don’t remember the particular order, but here are some of my experiences with the skaters. Skaters I saw but didn’t get autographs or pictures from: Irina G. (had to catch a plane), Irina S. and Elena S. (spent a lot of their time signing autographs and taking pictures for little kids and speaking with a whole group of people standing near us that were speaking Russian), ShaeLynn, Rudy (he was one of the ones I missed in the cross-over), Nicole, and Peter T. (more on him later).

We were all in a long line behind barriers, and some of them started at the bottom and worked their way up, and some of them put their stuff on the bus and then started at the top and worked their way down, so we missed a couple of them crossing paths that way, too. That also made it hard because you would have skaters coming from both directions and you had to guess which one would get to you first so you could open to their page, but most of them were really good about it. Oh, and Paul Binnebose (sp?) was a little bit down the way from me, and all the skaters, especially the guys, would stop to talk to him. I didn’t mind it at first, but when it got to be later and the bus was getting ready to leave, I thought it was a little rude of Paul to hold them up when there were so many people still waiting to meet them.

I thought I would be completely tongue-tied, but I listened to what some of the people next to me were saying, and I managed to make one or two intelligent comments. Some of the skaters I got autographs and/or pictures from, in no particular order:

Dan Hollander: I’d just had another skater sign, and I was kind-of fumbling trying to find Dan’s page. I finally gave up and just handed him the book and apologized and he said, “That’s ok, we know where our pages are.”

Bebe: She was so cute. She didn’t have a page so I just had her sign the cover. I wished her good luck in next season and she said, “Thanks”.

The young acrobat: He was wearing a blue golf hat. It was sunny that day, but it was already 5:30 in the evening, so I don’t know why he was wearing a hat. He’s a lot taller close up than he looks performing.

Sasha: She signed the program while my daughter was holding it, and then I said, “Sasha” and she looked up and saw that I had the camera ready to take her picture and got real close to my daughter (they are about the same height, lol) and got this big smile. Her face really lights up when she smiles. I was going to tell her that my daughter’s former cello teacher goes to the high school Sasha graduated from, but the people next to me handed her their programs so I didn’t have time.

Michelle!!!!!: She came out carrying a bunch of stuff and everyone started yelling for her. She put up her finger like “Just one second” and said, “I’ll be right back”. Then she went to put her stuff away and she did come right back. She was the first one that my daughter had sign her shirt. My daughter was wearing a shirt that she and a friend had had made when they went to a Ducks’ game. It says, “Giggy’s Girl” on the front and “Giguere 35” on the back (and she had it made long before Giggy got so famous in the playoffs!) Anyway, Michelle said, “Sure” and signed the shirt right across the top of the back. I took a picture while she was signing. Then I blurted out, “You look gorgeous!” and she looked up at me and got this huge smile and said, “Thanks!”. I meant it, too. She was wearing a form-fitting charcoal-gray knit sheath with a maribou collar, and, let me tell you, that girl does not have an ounce of fat on her. She must’ve been planning on going out somewhere with her family later that night, because they were all there and, I think, had a limo waiting. I was just so glad to finally meet my idol and not say anything completely stupid. I noticed when we got home that Michelle was the only girl she had sign her shirt—all the rest were the sexy, mostly young, male skaters, lol.

Plushy: One of my daughter’s favorites. He signed her shirt and my program. I said, “That was a great performance today,” and he smiled and said thanks. He posed for a photo, too.

Timmy: My daughter’s favorite male skater. I asked him if he would sign her shirt, and he said, “Sure!” and I said, “But first you have to sign for Mom” and gave him my program. He laughed and signed and then signed her shirt and then moved on to the next person in line. I said to my daughter, “Oh, I forgot to get a picture,” and as soon as he was done signing for that person, he came right back and put his arm around my daughter’s shoulder (the left one—the one she says she’ll never wash again) and let me take the picture. She’s still gushing over how blue his eyes are.

Elvis: Shirt and book. I told him, “I’m so glad you decided to keep competing.” And he said, “You are? Thanks!” I think I got a picture with him, too.

Victor Petrenko: Also signed both the shirt and my program. I said, “I think your program today was wonderful.” He looked very pleased and said, “Really? Thank you.”

Naomi, Maxim Marinin, and the younger acrobat all came through at the same time so I didn’t get to talk to them, but they all signed my program.

Mike Weiss: Also signed the shirt and the program. Came just after the group and I didn’t want to waste time looking for his page, so I just handed him the book and said, “I guess you guys know where your pages are,” and he said, “By now we do.” I told him I really liked his performance today and he thanked me.

Philippe. Also signed the shirt and the program (are we noticing a pattern here with who my daughter had sign the shirt? Lol) I told him I thought his program was wonderful, very moving. He smiled and said thank you. The person next to me asked, “So does this mean you’re a citizen now?” He said, “Not yet. In (I couldn’t hear, but I think he said, “August”). Then he got a big grin and said, “I just have to keep quiet and behave for a couple more months.”

The one that got away:
Peter, oh, Peter, you tease, you. He was one of the last ones out, and he really tried to sign for everyone, but the bus driver kept bugging him to get on the bus (I think he was threatening him that the bus was going to leave without him, lol), and then halfway down he saw Paul Binnebose (sp?) and stopped to do one of those guy-hug slap-on-the-back things and say hi and by then the bus driver was ready to pick him up physically and put him on the bus. He waved at everyone and shrugged and put his arms out like, “I’m sorry, there’s nothing I can do,” and then he had to get on the bus. Oh, well, it gives me a reason to go on living and go back next year.

Wow, that was a lot longer than I thought. Congratulations and my sympathies to anyone who got this far.

June 6th, 2003, 01:05 PM
Was this "War and Peace"?


michellesmom, thanks so much...I loved reading it...Sorry about Peter T.....but, yes, there is always next year...

Thanks for taking the time to share your great day!

June 6th, 2003, 06:42 PM
Wow m'smom!!! I think that's the longest post I've ever seen!!! :rollin

June 7th, 2003, 09:35 AM

lol. It's okay that you didn't remember me. It was funny though. Future Mr. Chance. ~sigh~ "Tall Boy" now "Mr. Chance". He'll like that one.

Kwanette-too funny.

Thanks for the report, I wish that I tried to get a ticket now but oh well lunch was fun too.

June 7th, 2003, 10:34 AM
thanks for the review-i love to read about people's experiences!! glad to hear you got to meet timmy...gotta love him-glad your daughter had a good experience w/ her fav male skater-can't wait to see pics! :)

June 7th, 2003, 03:21 PM
I got the pictures, and there's a GREAT one with Timmy. I don't have a clue how to post them on the 'net, though. (I don't want to have to pay for web space. I have Cox cable, so I'm assuming I get some kind of free space.) If anybody can help, please PM me.

June 8th, 2003, 06:40 PM
hi, michellesmom! i read the whole thing!! :)

i really enjoyed your very detailed review on the post-show autographs... particularly "the one who got away". :lol

as for your pictures, i guess the simplest way would be to sign up for a yahoo photo album.

June 9th, 2003, 05:31 AM
Thanks MM. I love reports with all of the details. They are the next best thing to being there.

June 9th, 2003, 08:16 AM
Pictures are now up at:

community.webshots.com/al...3089vYUPtR (http://community.webshots.com/album/76293089vYUPtR)

Let me know if that link works.

Many thanks to TimothysMyHero for the tips.

June 9th, 2003, 08:22 AM
AHHH! that is SUCH A CUTE PIC! of her and Timmy! OMG! i love it! glad you got it to work! and you're welcome! AHHH!! *stares* lol

June 9th, 2003, 08:44 AM
Thanks for the review and pictures! They are all great!

June 9th, 2003, 08:55 AM
TMH, I thought you'd like that one. :)

Be sure to scroll down to read the captions at the bottom of each picture.

BTW, if you get a 404, it's probably because the server's busy. Try again later.

Now if only I can figure out how to put them in chronological order.

June 9th, 2003, 09:09 AM
yup-i did....man it's so good...she looks so happy and he's sooooo hot! lol i'm so obsessed....

and i think you can go to like...www.webshots.com and go to my photos, then select your album, and under each pic should be left and right arrows-use them to move the pics. good luck! :)

June 9th, 2003, 09:26 AM
Estella!!!(hehe sorry I couldn't resist) I'm so glad you had a fun time!! I'm sure it was exciting to see the great show and meet all those wonderful skaters, including Michelle!!! Congrats!!!:D :D :D

June 9th, 2003, 11:48 AM
MM I read the whole thing :) It was a wonderful report. It makes me wish that we lived out near y'all. Thanks for the report and thanks for sharing your pictures with us :) The pictures are wonderful :)